With reporting from Riham Sheble
An “Arab national” has been arrested for trying to sell a cheetah in Qatar, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has announced.
إدارة الحماية البيئية والمحميات والحياة الفطرية تضبط شخصا يتاجر بالحيوانات الخطرة "شيتا"، وتتخذ الإجراءات اللازمة. pic.twitter.com/IOYiKTXBjx
— وزارة البلدية والبيئة | MME (@albaladiya) July 21, 2016
The MME tracked down the man after it received a complaint about someone trading in predatory animals inside of Qatar.
He was handed over to police in Al Shamal yesterday and awaits public prosecution, QNA added.
The perpetrator could face a maximum of one year in prison and a fine ranging of up to QR20,000 under Qatari law.
Meanwhile, the animal has been sent to a zoo for safekeeping.
Warning to residents
Although illegal, is not uncommon for residents to keep wild animals such as tigers, lions and cheetahs as pets in Qatar.
In March for example, someone’s pet tiger was found roaming loose on the Doha Expressway.
The animal was eventually caught and the owner was said to face legal proceedings, the Ministry of Interior said at the time.
Authorities have repeatedly warned about the dangers of keeping wild animals as pets, though enforcement has long been uneven.
Yesterday, the MME called on residents to follow the law and to report anyone suspected of animal trafficking by calling 998.